Auctions, Ducks, and Grass Stains

Storytime!  Disclaimer: if you’re only here for study abroad updates, skip this series.  This is just a fun series, no point to it.  Most of the contradictions are intentional: especially the ones that happen on accident.


Normally, we don’t really think about how much work goes into a single photo.  Professional photographers might take a hundred photos to capture the one that gets published.  This is not a story about a professional photo.  This is a story about a warm summer day and Northwest’s resident duck.

Surplus auctions are funny things.  During an internship with the Purchasing Department at Northwest last semester, I spent several days helping prepare for the end-of-semester surplus auction by labeling each and every item, from the extravagant, a dining table set from the President’s House, to the excessive, a fridge large enough to hide a body in, to the disgusting, the enormous burlap container of used gym bags “donated” by the athletic department.  Why anyone would want some of this stuff, I had no idea, but I wasn’t being paid ask questions…or to label it, for that matter.  Around midway through, I stumbled across a box of Olympus cameras.  Sure, they had a model, but why bore you with the details when I can bore you with this story?  While toying with them during my break I discovered that two of the three worked, so I decided to buy them.

I paid too much for them, but at least now I had a working camera that was still relatively cheap so I could take it hiking without worrying.  So, like a normal person, I took my new equipment and put it on a shelf for 3 months.

Fastforward to the summer, and I’m on an empty campus, taking online classes, and bored out of my mind, so I decide to mess around with my cameras and take some landscape shots of campus.  The photos I took will probably all show up on this blog at some point, but one in particular really doesn’t deserve a story.  There’s a duck that lives next to Colden Pond.  The duck’s name is Fred.  Actually, it isn’t.  It’s a duck, it doesn’t have a name.  Anyway, I decided I wanted a picture of this duck, but I couldn’t steady my camera enough to use the zoom, so I had to get closer.  Obviously, however, getting closer might scare the duck, so I did the next reasonable thing: strapping the camera to my back and army-crawling across the lawn.  Nobody else was around, so why not?

I’m sure you’ve figured out where this is going.  I got the photo, but when I stood up I discovered my once-blue jeans were contact-dyed green.  To my absolute shock, crawling across the grass had marked them with the nefarious nemesis of parents of small and college-aged children everywhere: grass stains.  Worse yet, apparently campus wasn’t empty that day.  There was probably less than a dozen people there that day, but of course one of them was standing right behind me, watching me go all special forces on this duck.  At this point, there really was no recovering my dignity, so I smiled, waved, and walked away.  The stupid duck never did spook.


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